Carbon monoxide (CO) is often called “the silent killer”, because it is odorless, colorless, and you will not realize you are being exposed to it. In fact, carbon monoxide exposure accounts for 500 deaths per year in the US alone simply because people are unaware they are being poisoned. Carbon monoxide can come from gas stoves, fires, boilers, water heaters (gas powered), and more. When these appliances aren’t maintained properly or vented properly, a carbon monoxide emergency may result.Protect Your Family from Carbon Monoxide - Frierson LA - New Buck

Signs and Symptoms

The reason carbon monoxide poisoning often goes unnoticed is because the symptoms mimic those of a common cold or flu: a dull headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness. Carbon monoxide poisoning is a life-threatening medical emergency. A slow exposure can cause permanent organ damage, and a fast case can cause death and brain damage quickly. As soon as you suspect a carbon monoxide exposure, seek medical help immediately.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

You can prevent carbon monoxide exposure in your home and protect your family from devastating injury or death.

  • Schedule routine chimney maintenance so that your chimney system works correctly, venting these hazardous gases out of your house. Routine chimney sweeps and annual chimney inspections keep your system working properly.
  • Never light a fire in a fireplace that has not been inspected for safety. If you own a new home, do not assume that it was inspected during the home inspection. Realtors and sellers may install a new gas appliance to spruce the place up before a sale, and it was never properly installed or inspected.
  • Keep the damper open while a fire is burning in your fireplace. The damper will block airflow through the chimney and prevent proper ventilation of the fire. If your damper is open and your fireplace is still pushing smoke into your living space, it should be assessed by a professional.
  • Have your chimney system repaired by professionals only. Do not attempt to make your own repairs or installations.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home and check them monthly. Change the batteries twice a year when the time changes or if they need replacing during one of your monthly checks.

It is up to you to protect your family from carbon monoxide exposure. Maintaining the heat systems in your home is half the battle. When you have a carbon monoxide detector installed, you can give your family precious time to evacuate the house before poisoning takes place. Leave the house and seek medical care to be sure, and do not return until the house has been assessed and necessary repairs have been made.

If you have concerns about carbon monoxide exposure or you’re uncertain of the last time your chimney system was inspected for safety, call the professionals today. New Buck Chimney Services can handle all of your chimney needs in Shreveport and surrounding areas. Make your appointment today.